George Groves fought to hold back the tears after his eighth round defeat to Carl Froch at Wembley tonight.

But only minutes after the Hammersmith hammer hit the canvas in their super-middleweight world title fight, the victim of a thumping right that didn’t even see the referee counting before it was stopped, the west Londoner was threatening a third meeting between the two.

The chances are slimmer than a Vogue model. Froch will be 37 in July, but Groves believes his day with destiny has yet to come.

Despite the awful end, the younger fighter by 10 years appeared none the worse for the decking.

“Yeah, I’m fine - that’s boxing,” he said. “Fair play to Carl; he caught me, but I thought I was in the groove, and I’ll come back bigger, better and stronger. Ultimately I think I let myself down.”

Salute: George Groves enters the Wembley ring

There was little love lost between the two leading up to one of the greatest British fights of all time. Both camps squared up to each other on just about every public occasion available much to the delight of media and promoters who attracted 250 million pay TV viewers, and 80,000 in the stadium.

However, both sat on the ring apron side by side with all animosity left in the ring.

“The fights are hyped, and it’s the easiest way for me to go about my job,” Groves said. “I was ahead on the scorecards, and I’ll be pushing hard to get my world title shot.

 

"If Carl is still boxing, maybe it will be against Carl again, but it’s back to the drawing board.”

The Nottingham champion was likewise gracious in victory, but then again, he could afford to be.

“He’s quicker than me, but if you time shots they will beat speed,” Froch added. “But the main adjustment was timing and focus.”

Some timing, but not a good time for west London boxing.

End: Groves is stopped by referee